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Now, Discover Your Strengths

3.97  ·  Rating details ·  22,300 ratings  ·  653 reviews
Effectively managing personnel--as well as one's own behavior--is an extraordinarily complex task that, not surprisingly, has been the subject of countless books touting what each claims is the true path to success. That said, Marcus Buckingham and Donald O. Clifton's Now, Discover Your Strengths does indeed propose a unique approach: focusing on enhancing people's strengt ...more
Kindle Edition, 280 pages
Published September 16th 2013 by Gallup Press (first published 2001)
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3.97  · 
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 ·  22,300 ratings  ·  653 reviews

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Andrea McDowell

I've to this one with a solid decade of reading neuroscience and positive psychology behind me, so not only am I already familiar with the research he cites, but I am well aware of when it is misused. Let's just get this out of the way before we discuss any strengths (haha) the book may have, as I have yet to see its weaknesses covered in any of the reviews:

a) it is NOT TRUE that you can't significantly strengthen your weaknesses. Read The Brain that Changes Itself for a good introduction. S
Jan 01, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
"If you ever have the opportunity to read this book and take the StrengthsFinder quiz, I HIGHLY recommend that you do so. I read this book as part of a leadership development program that I am in for work. I learned more about myself from this book and the quiz results than I have in the first twelve months of the program. I learned why I have issues with losing my train of thought when speaking, why I feel this incessant need to constantly achieve and learn something, why I value my alone time. ...more
Graeme Roberts
Oct 03, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This is a cynical bullshit book. The Gallup Organization conducted a survey of over two million people to discover the source of their strengths. They provide a login for an online survey to "discover" your strengths. No book, no survey, so they keep selling books to people who want to find out their talents, and don't we all. Of course, everyone that takes the test further "strengthens the validity of the database." Reading through the list of strengths it was very obvious to me what mine were, ...more
Jul 26, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Like many business books, Now, Discover Your Strengths is a book about discovering who you are, what you're naturally best at and how best to apply it in a business or life sense. Interestingly, this book approaches skill and education as secondary to natural gifts, tendencies and talents. The book uses an online personality test called StrengthsFinder (also utilized in other business books) to determine your 5 strongest "themes" of character such as Harmony, Empathy, Activator or Development. T ...more
Dec 31, 2008 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
My strengths, which at first, 1-2 didn't make sense to me, but gradually I saw how they rule my life in every way. My entire family did this b-c my sister gave us all the books and it made for great holiday discussions and greater understanding and appreciation for our unique strengths. I also bought the books for all my co-workers and we had a discussion date to understand what each of us brings to our workplace and how we could better position ourselves to utilize our strengths. Every person i ...more
Farnoosh Brock
Apr 13, 2013 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business-spirit
Yes, the title may be obvious but how many of us focus entirely on our strengths and not mind our weaknesses? The idea of managing a weakness to the point that it does not hinder us but still focusing and growing our strengths - now that is brilliant when put to practice. Thank you Marcus Buckingham!

Even though it took me a few years to leave my corporate job where I was all about overcoming my weaknesses and go into business for myself to let my strengths shine, I am GLAD I took the plunge.

Nov 21, 2010 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
This book should have a disclaimer on it stating you have to buy the book for full price new, or else it's useless. The whole premise of the book is analyzing your results from their "Strengthsfinder" test, but you don't find this out til halfway through the book. It takes even longer for you to find out that you are supposed to use the code from inside the dustjacket. If you get this from the used bookstore, the library, or even brand new and someone else has stolen the code, you've absolutely ...more
Aug 04, 2007 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
My supervisor mentioned this book to me so I started reading it. It also includes a website that you visit to take a strengths finder test which is suppose to help you excel at your job (and for this reason, you should buy the book new so you have the code to use). The idea is rather than focusing on trying to improve your weaknesses, you focus on improving your strengths, resulting in a near perfect performance anytime. I would recommend this book to anyone that wants to learn more about their ...more
May 23, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: audio, available
Incredible information contained within, quite a paradigm shift and an invaluable contribution to my personal self awareness as well as plans and choices about future life path.
Dmitry Kuriakov
Apr 19, 2018 rated it did not like it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: psychology, self-help
Сразу скажу, что я рассматриваю только теоретическую часть книги, т.е. сам тест я оставляю за скобками.
Авторы в центр своей книги (или теории) ставят фокусирование на сильных сторонах человека и именно на те, что человек часто и с успехом использует (авторы подчёркивают это, как важный фактор). Также они пишут, как я это понял, что сильные стороны имеют в качестве основных ингредиентов следующие материалы: знания, навыки и талан. Последнему они посвятят большую часть своей теории. Всё это мы на
Mar 26, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
How many of us, well into our careers, still live with the mistaken idea that the purpose of most of our activities is to work on those weaknesses and somehow turn them into strengths? I would venture to say, the majority of us, certainly those of us who grew up with post war parents who themselves believed that success in working life and achievement can be measured by the extent to which his has been accomplished.

In the meantime, strengths, natural aptitudes, and in most cases the activities t
Jun 24, 2010 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I read this book and took the test as part of a career-discernment period, and found the concepts it offered to be very helpful.

American corporations and individuals tend to focus on weakness. What am I (or my employees) bad at, and how can I fix it? This book suggests that while we can spend a lot of time trying to fix our weaknesses, we'll never be nearly as successful at that as we will be at improving on our strengths. We're wired to be good at certain things. If we focus on them, we can ge
Oct 04, 2012 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
I got through this quickly since it was an abridged audio version. I may go back & read the full version on my Kindle. I have been researching strengths based movement and approach to leadership recently.

There was a lot of good insight here, but the big takeaway for me was the author's comment about incremental improvements. Once you discover your strengths, you can hone them by incremental improvements. It reminds me of Mack Anderson's book, 212 Degrees. 212 The Extra Degree by Samuel L. Parker

The difference between world class
Edival Santos
Feb 13, 2018 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Embora eu acredite muito mais em neuroplasticidade do que o livro apregoa e limita, eu tenho que reconhecer o valor da teoria dos Pontos Fortes e que devemos focar neles. O teste oferecido com o livro é muito bacana e achei que o resultado é muito satisfatório. O Guia Prático no final do livro também tem pontos muito bons para serem implementados em uma organização.
O que mais faz sentido para mim é que temos que nos tornar nota 9 ou 10 onde já somos muito bons e melhorar nos pontos fracos apena
Delair Bolis
Sep 29, 2018 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Uma vez ao entrevistar um candidato ele perguntou que tipo de líder eu era! Alguém que maximizaria seus pontos fortes ou ficaria minha energia em desenvolver, melhorar seus pontos fracos. O livro reforça a importância e os resultados positivos que obtemos quando conseguimos administrar nossos pontos fracos não deixando os mesmos nos prejudicar, e ficar assim toda a energia em maximizar e extrair ainda mais de nossos pontos fortes. O resultado do exercício - descubra seus 5 pontos mais fortes - p ...more
Jan 08, 2019 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
The nice part of this book is detailed explanation of what is talent/strength based on how our brain develop. As the brain can't do everything well, based on genes and magic they build certain pathways that are optimised for excellence in certain areas.
What it also gives is a methodology how Gallup many years ago developed a tool to indicate personal strength areas. Which you rarely get and what is generally interesting to learn about. In this case they indicate 34 themes of strengths and give p
Diego Ferreira
Mar 01, 2019 rated it it was amazing  ·  review of another edition
Muito prático e objetivo. Acredito que é uma boa fonte para evolução e ele foca principalmente nos 5 maiores pontos fortes individuais. Faz-se um teste na internet, através de um código que vem em cada livro em que são analisadas tomadas de decisão rápidas e o que mais encaixa individualmente.
Pro estudo existem 34 habilidades e que quando você fica consciente sobre seus maiores pontos fortes, para de focar nos “gaps” e fraquezas e sim cada vez melhorar estes pontos fortes. Cita muitos exemplos d
Mar 16, 2014 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
I liked the book ok. I happened to have a copy with a valid test code, so I took it for free. My top five turned out to be: Learner, Realtor, Futuristic, Restorative, Discipline.

I must say, the research seems intriguing, but I ended up feeling confused about managing my strengths in the end.

The authors definitely spent more energy and polishing the "analysis" part of the research. I can see that it's backed by some data and therefore the descriptions of strengths and examples of personalities re
Jul 02, 2008 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: how-to, career
This was recommended by trainers in our Human Resources dept. It was really interesting, and a different take on figuring out where you fit in your career--are you in the right role, and the right organization? I've done many personality tests (and know my Myers Briggs score like the back of my hand...ISFJ if you're interested), but personality testing is based on opposite ends of the spectrum--if you're extroverted, you can't be introverted, if you're good with machines, you can't be good with ...more
Jun 21, 2014 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
First of all I agee with other reviewers that it's very annoying that you have to buy a new book to get a valid access code to the online strenghtsfinder. As the premise of the book (it is more effective to build on people's strenghts than to try to correct perceived weaknesses) appealed to me I did buy a new copy. Of the five talents that came out of the test, three fit reasonably well. But when I read through all of them I realised that my most dominant strenght had not come out of the test. T ...more
Loy Machedo
Are you in the right job career but at the wrong position?
Are you in the right position but with the wrong job career?

Should you focus on your strengths?
Should you focus on your weakness?

What are your key strengths?
And how many are there?

Now, Discover Your Strengths by Marcus Buckingham, Donald O. Clifton is a brilliantly crafted book which can answer these questions or at least shed some light into answers you wanted so badly.

On the upside, I loved the test that I could take to get to know
Martyn Lovell
This book is nominally a sequel to 'First Break All The Rules'. That book takes a relatively simple set of ideas, and as is typical in business books, spins it out to 250 pages of repetitive and unnecessary content. But ultimately, it made some good and useful points. I got both books from a manager, so it took me some time to get around to reading them :)

This book has far less concrete content than the first. Its central thesis - easily understood in a few pages - is reasonable, though the auth
Sep 18, 2012 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business
Philosophically, I believe in the message this book expounds, namely to focus on strengths - or what you one is good at - versus trying to overly improve weaknesses... however, I found the book a bit dry. It's a short read and well worth it, but keep in mind that it's likely to tell you something you already know but just hadn't thought about a whole lot. It does provide a set of personal strengths, a brief description about them, and how best to manage employees with that particular strength - ...more
Jun 03, 2010 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
I enjoyed this book. It takes an interesting approach to self-improvement. The main point being that you have certain talents that you develop in your early life. Beyond your teens it is difficult to develop new talents. The general emphasis on self-improvement is traditionally focused on areas where you lack skill or talent. This book asserts that this approach is wrong. The idea that they promote is that you should focus on your strengths (talents) and focus on developing skills around your ta ...more
Richard Stephenson
Rated 1 Star for being almost useless as the USED condition. The StrengthsFinder test code was invalid / already used.

I skimmed the rest of the book with the "hey, I can't take the test" idea in mind and could pretty clearly see how the test was the main focus of this book.

I ripped out Chapter 4 (describing the types), and chunked the book.
Hope ya'll that bought the book new had a bett
Jenny (rapid tortoise)
Довольно много воды, но тем не менее, очень интересно читать. Основная идея: для того чтобы преуспеть в какой-либо области, нужна комбинация "талант+знания+умения". Задача каждого - выявить свои таланты и не зарывать их в землю:) Для определения ваших личных талантов нужно пройти онлайн тест, код прилагается к книге. У меня была аудиоверсия, поэтому тест пока пройти не удалось, и на амазоне эту книгу для киндла тоже временно не продают. Но все равно интересно узнать, какие же у меня таланты, так ...more
Jan 04, 2012 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: own
This is the "Linda Goodman's Handbook for Managers and HR types", which instead of saying "An Aquarius is assertive and charming and hence makes for a good salesman", tweaks it to talk about "Strength Themes" and "Excellence". It basically communicating the truth we all know that "All employees are unique" and hence "please read our totally generic, impossible to implement ways to maximize their potential". Sarcasm aside, the book does touch upon some very good points on why large, archaic orgna ...more
Jan 19, 2015 rated it liked it  ·  review of another edition
Generally good stuff to consider and implement in organizations, especially those with teams doing specific tasks.

Keep in mind that after taking the assessment, you're not going to be given a perfect formula for near perfect performance or where you should be working. The purpose of the book is to help identify your top 5 themes and give you some traction on finding places to use them. At the end of the day, you still have to do some self-reflection and assess if you're using your strengths.
Nov 10, 2017 rated it really liked it  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: nonfiction
This was a very good and informative book. But it will be difficult for most people to read because you will immediately see all your company is doing wrong which leads you down a path of pondering why you are working for them.

But I genuinely appreciated the well-researched ideas. I liked learning what my strengths are and I am now paying attention to how I can use them in my current position.
Oct 19, 2010 rated it it was ok  ·  review of another edition
Shelves: business, audio
Cruising the Internet for the past hour I found that people have quite different views of values (what is valuable) and often confuse them with strengths. This book won't help you much with the definitions. In fact, if you haven't paid for the strengthsfinder questionnaire--say, if you got this as a library book--then you will find little value in reading (or listening). In fact, it seemed like hours of my time invested in an advertisement.
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In a world where efficiency and competency rule the workplace, where do personal strengths fit in?

It's a complex question, one that intrigued Cambridge-educated Marcus Buckingham so greatly, he set out to answer it by challenging years of social theory and utilizing his nearly two decades of research experience as a Sr. Researcher at Gallup Organization to break through the preconceptions about a
“Back in the 1930s, Carl Jung, the eminent thinker and psychologist, put it this way: Criticism has 'the power to do good when there is something that must be destroyed, dissolved or reduced, but [it is] capable only of harm when there is something to be built.” 10 likes
“If your senses are numbed with delusion and denial, you will stop looking for these true strengths and wind up living a second-rate version of someone's life rather than a worldclass version of your own” 8 likes
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